Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Blog Envy? Moi?

Yes, it is real. Blog Envy. What does it mean? In our ever changing world we continue to add words to our language that would have had absolutely no meaning in the past. Do I covet a blog? Just what is a blog? I may be a little late in posing that question, but I do think it's pertinent. It's a verb, it's a noun, it's everywhere, it's everywhere!!


What kind of word is that? And just how does it describe my online journal? To me it sounds like a word a child made up some at some time and some parent thought it was cute. I must have asked where it came from at least a hundred times on my MySpace blog, but never got an answer. That is until my daughter educated me. Kids now days... they think they know everything!

Web Log. Shortened for our convenience to Blog. Not weblog, just blog. I think I prefer OnJour. Add your own French accent. Sounds so much more romantic, eh? OnJour. OnlineJournal. Welcome to my OnJour.

And now I've been a blogger for several years. I have many I enjoy reading, back on MySpace, but they are becoming few and far between. For some reason there seems to be a mass exodus from MS... could it be they have become not-so-user-friendly? I'd say so... they completely disabled my link to this blog. Afraid of a little competition "Tom?"

Forgive me for my digressions. This is supposed to be a blog about blog envy. A not so new concept but a form of mental disease that I apparently suffer from. It's not that other bloggers are more interesting and more creative and talented writers than I am. I do recognize that. It's that they have more readers and subscribers and I covet that! Somehow, despite the fact that the two are directly proportionaly related, I want those readers (and their comments), whether I am cute & clever and/or talented or not.

Blog Envy.

Google it. It's out there.

I'm going to link you to an actual post about blog envy and getting over it.
See here? I'm even giving other bloggers more traffic!!

Now I'm off to clean house... I'm having a Tastefully Simple party in mid-March. Yes, it's gonna take me that long!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

My New Toy

A few days ago Mary and I were discussing the necessity of having a sewing machine for our cards and layouts. Stitching on paper projects is pretty popular right now. But getting out the old Singer treadle machine just seems like too big of a task for just a few little lines of stitching. But having the keen eyes for a good bargain that Mary has, she told me about a nifty little number available at Walgreens.

So I got online and did a little research... emphasis on little... and decided to give the little handy dandy machine a chance. So I popped on over to Walgreens and picked one up. I needed to pick up Harriett's prescription anyway, so what the hey?

This is what the little cutie patootie looks like:

Isn't it just the cutest little thang??? So I thought it would be good to make up a quick little card to see how it works and how easy or difficult it is to use. I had a virgin stamp set that really needed to taste ink so I put the two together and this is what happened:

Gosh, I think I probably should have stamped those birdies some eyes, right?

So now I will critique my new little sewer... er... SEW'er.

Don't. Buy. One. Not even for $20.00. Not even for these little paper projects. Why, you ask? Because there is not an ounce of versatility to this machine. Zero, zilch, nada.

There is only one stitch


The is only one length of stitch


It may not seem like a very big deal, and in reality, it's probably not crucial to the *important things in my life,* but I think I'd rather haul out the old treadle. The length of the stitch is 10 per inch. I think a longer stitch would show up much better, and when using colorful threads, the colors would be more evident, too. And if you really want your stitching to show up, a zig zag stitch is a must.

Like so many of my kids toys over the years, this is one that will be played with only a little bit and then probably find itself in the back of the craft closet, the bottom of the toy chest. It's nowhere near being a Buzz Lightyear or a Woody. It's more like a pet rock.

I couldn't leave my little birdies without eyes... This is the final version after adding eyes and a little bling & 'dorns. Despite the stitching, I really like how it turned out! Also the color is far more accurate when photo'd during day light hours!

* ~ ** ~ *** ~ ** ~ *

Close To My Heart(TM) products used in this project:
My Acrylix(R): "Bird Basics" D1338, $22.95, page 65 Spring 2009 Idea Book (Set of 22)

My Reflections(R) Level 2 Paper Pack: "Daydream" X7018B, $12.95, page 29 Spring 2009 Idea Book (10 - 12"x12" Cardstock Sheets: 2 ea. of 3 colors & 4 neutrals; 12 - 12"x12" B&T Duos: 2 ea. of 6 patterns)

You can purchase these items and much much more at my Close To My Heart(TM) website at paperboutique.myctmh.com

Friday, February 20, 2009

10 Things I Love About You

This adorable little album was created for the Close To My Heart(TM) album retreat for consultants held in Salt Lake City in January. The creater and instructer was Nona (nonapearl.blogspot.com). Do I even need to tell you how incredibly talented she is? I thought not.

I added my photos and gave it to hubby for Valentine's Day. I also strayed away from the original a bit, but only because I didn't have the directions with me while completing it at a local crop. All products are Close To My Heart(TM)

This is the album cover. This new little album will be available in the Close To My Heart Summer/Fall 2009 Idea Book. It measure's 8.5 x 5.5 an comes with 5 tabbed pages. The "10" on the front are sponged Dimensional Elements numbers and attached for a great 3D effect. Can I just say "SWEET"??!!

Inside front cover: The quote was also something I altered to better fit my needs. The paper packet used for this project is called "That's Amore."

Page 1: The number one, again a Dimensional Element, sponged and then stamped for texture. These are old photos that I scanned and sent to Walgreens to print. I love printing out photos in the wallet sizes to use in my layouts!
Page 2: I will try not to be redundant in telling you that all the numbers are Dimensional Elements, okay? I knew you'd be happy about that. My husband has a large extended family and this is but a few of us. I could only squeeze so many people on one page, yes? The tabs are all labelled in this album using our Rub-Ons. I really wasn't expecting to like them and never got real excited about them... Until I Used Them!! Let me tell you I own them all now. What fun!!!

Page 3: Isn't my husband a cutie? TAKEN!! The bird is stamped from the "Love Language" stamp set. Very cute!!

Page 4: This is my side of the family, Mom, brothers & their wives. The number 4 was covered with texture paper and trimmed then sanded. I love the elegance of it. Hearts are also stamped from the "Love Language" stamp set. Aren't they pretty?

Page 5: My husband and my two little goofy girls... faces covered with flour while making cookies. Such long ago memories, it feels so good just looking at pictures like these! The cute little colorful paper clip isn't really holding my title in place, but I fooled ya, right?

Page 6: Although I loved being a soccer Mom, it was really my husband who was involved. More cherished memories and good times. He was an amazing coach who stayed with the team from it's infancy until we had to move away, when the girls were going into 10th grade.

Page 7: One of my very favorite things about scrapbooking is journaling tags that slip into hidden pockets. I feel so clever when I do those!! This tag slips right between the red & white papers. This is Harriett, a friend of ours who lives with us. Unfortunately she is terminally ill. I am so blessed that my husband understands what it means to me to be here for her, just as he welcomed my Mom into our home while we cared for her for three years. Did I say he is amazing?

Page 8: I love this page!! My husband truly does support my interests and my Close To My Heart business!! Btw... the couple in the center of the photo are the owners of the company, Jeannette Lynton and her husband David.

Page 9: This is what a man looks like after diving through a large mud puddle full of goose poop. Yes, I did say "diving." A challenge made to his soccer girls that if they won the game he would dive through. The won and he dove! Apparently it looked like so much fun, many of the girls followed after him! This tag slips right behind the '9.'

Page 10 (a): Ah, Sweet Youth! It was fun mixing up the numbering style on the tabs. Notice some are spelled out and written either horizontal or vertical, while others are simply the number. The great thing about scrapping is that there is no wrong way. Do whatever makes you happy!!

Page 10 (b): Well, this is a moldy oldy! Our engagement photo. My 20 year old daughter thought the silhouette thing just a bit weird. I thought it was so cool at the time. Now she's got me wondering!! Since I wanted to show just how much the *me* became *us* I made little flaps for my wallet sized photos to show off our growing family.

Page 10 (c): Here we are as a family of three.

Page 10 (d): ...and here we are a family of four! It was hard to stop with only "10 Things I Love About You." Maybe next year I'll do 11 through 20. My husband took this little book into the office with him. I doubt I'll ever see it again before he retires.
Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing this little book with me!!
* ~ ** ~ *** ~ ** ~ *

Products mentioned in this blog are available from Close To My Heart at paperboutique.myctmh.com
My Acrylix(R) stamp set: "Love Language" D1343 $22.95
(set of 13, page 57 Spring 2009 Idea Book)
My Reflections Level 2 paper packet: "That's Amore" X7107B $12.95
(10 - 12x12 Cardstock Sheets, 2 each of 3 colors, 4 neutral
& 12 - 12"x 12" B&T Duos(TM) 2 each of 6 patterns, page 25 Spring 2009 Idea Book)
Rub-Ons: "Love Letters" Z1098 $9.95
(3 - 6"x12" sheets, 1 each of Black, Chocolate, White Daisy, Page 93 Spring 2009 Idea Book)

My New BlogSpot

I decided it was time to come out of the dark ages with my stamping and crafting and share it with friends and family through my new blogspot. I've seen so many creative and beautiful blogs hosting similar things that I am feeling just a tad intimidated. I love *original* but I am more a connoisseur of *tweeked.* Don't be surprised or disappointed if you see many of my *ideas* have been stamp or craft lifted from others. I'll give credit where credit is due. If I find something totally brand new that originated in my own little brain, I will certainly be shouting it from the blog tops!

So the next few days will be spent designing and producing a layout that reflect my tastes and hopefully, a few people will begin to find me here, feel my passion & 'fever' for crafting, and keep in touch.

*...and so she begins*